More tests needed on quit method

| February 18, 2016

A traditional medicine research team at Taipei Medical University Hospital, Taiwan, said yesterday its clinical research showed that ear acupuncture therapy could help people quit smoking, according to a story in the Taipei Times.

The team said it had discovered that performing acupuncture or sticking an acupuncture patch on the top of the ear and another at the bottom of the ear, caused ‘a person’s brain cells to stop desiring nicotine’.

The team said that when the therapy was performed on long-term smokers it made them reject the smell of cigarette smoke.

More than 50 percent of the smokers were said to have quit their habit.

Tang You-Jen, a traditional Chinese medicine doctor at the hospital, said that long-term smokers sometimes suffered nicotine withdrawal symptoms, such as hand tremors, when they quit smoking, but that ear acupuncture therapy could help relieve such symptoms.

However, Lo Su-ying, head of the Health Promotion Administration Health Education and Tobacco Control Division, said more scientific tests were needed before the therapy could be listed as a recommended treatment in the administration’s Second Generation Tobacco Cessation Program.

“There are about 330,000 smokers in Taiwan, and about 90,000 people have successfully quit smoking [through the program], translating to a success rate of nearly 30 percent,” she said.

Lo said studies had shown that the success rate of quitting by using willpower was only about three percent, so the administration suggested people who wanted to quit smoking should seek specialist advice through the program.

Category: Breaking News

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